What can generative AI do for me? This question has been in the minds of consumers, executives, business professionals, and educational staff.
At Cupola’s GPTx held on April 21, everyone found the answer in the form of an event that made generative AI practical for everyone.
With the term AI being mentioned 168 times by tech giants Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta during their earnings call and Geoffrey Hinton openly raising his concern, generative AI is shining bright in the broader AI industry.
However, making sense of the use case for generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and others remains a challenge.
In North Holland, GPTx wants to be the solution to that challenge with an event supported by ROM InWest.
“As North Holland’s development agency, we invest in innovative companies that contribute to transitions such as the energy and food transition,” said Linze Rijswijk of ROM InWest.
He adds, “AI is a technology that impacts many industries and offers opportunities for startups. In ROM InWest’s workshop, five innovative startups explained to other companies how they apply AI. This way, we also inspire other companies to apply AI faster.”
GPTx event makes generative AI practical
An initiative of I.AMDIGITAL, Cupola XS, and Endeavour, the GPTx event is the largest generative AI event in the Netherlands.
The event aims to make tools like ChatGPT practical for executives, business professionals, and educational staff.
“ChatGPT has dominated the news lately. We found the need to explain to people that are not tech-minded, what this tool, and other generative AI tools do, how and why you can use these tools,” says Su Yin Timp-Gan, founder and co-owner at I.AMDIGITAL.
The first edition of the GPTx event was held on April 21 at Cupola XS, a co-working space in Haarlem, a city outside of Amsterdam.
Su Yin explains that they came up with the idea of the GPTx event in just two months and wanted it to be practical from the start.
She says, “We came up with the idea to set up a very practical event, learning by doing, to help people to take the first step.”
As a first step, the event acts as a window into the world of Midjourney and ChatGPT and allows participants to understand how these generative AI tools will affect their work in the future.
Amidst all the hype and prompts around these generative AI tools doing the rounds on social media, there is clear demand for knowledge about the topic.
With over 680 visitors, GPTx event had an overall rating of 8.3 and aspires to become the knowledge hub for generative AI in North Holland.
Impact of generative AI on people
At the outset, the GPTx event may seem light on its agenda but its organisers want to build on the progress with two more events this year.
The second edition of the GPTx event is already scheduled for June 30 where it aims to look at the impact of AI through applications, leadership, and legislation.
In addition to these three tracks, the event will also see a choice of 24 different workshops hosted by the likes of OpenAI, Midjourney, Synthesia, and others.
The organisers of the GPTx event learnt from the first event that there is a demand for practical applications of AI tools.
However, they also observed the importance of topics like ethics, bias, regulation, and legislation for its attendees.
“We are going to organise a second event that will focus on these topics,” says Su Yin.
If the first event was aimed at those who wanted to see what’s possible with generative AI then the second event aims to show how generative AI will impact the lives of lawyers, attorneys, and executives.
The third event, tentatively planned for December, will focus on media and journalism. Su Yin says this event will show how “AI tools will play a significant role in this profession.”
Generative AI and its impact on startups
“I didn’t realise all of this was already possible, it’s really not difficult,” one of the attendees said after the event.
It is clear that most people find generative AI exciting but are also frightened by its development and progress.
“There are many people from different industries interested in ChatGPT applications,” says Tom Griffioen, Head of Data & Business development at Clappform, who gave a workshop on the impact of AI on the housing market.
He says, “I saw people open their eyes to what is possible today. That was great to see.”
Active Collective, a digital agency combining data science, digital design, prototyping, development and cybersecurity, conducted a workshop on AI for startups and SMEs.
Guido Duijzers, Business Development Manager at Active Collective, says the event organised by ROM InWest “provided a great opportunity to learn more about the latest trends and development in AI, particularly in the areas of natural language processing, computer vision, and reinforcement learning.”
“We use these [generative AI] technologies on a daily basis and consider them as colleagues that make our work much more efficient,” adds Duijzers.
The attendees of the GPTx event come from diverse backgrounds approaching AI differently. However, they all agree that the event opened their eyes to how startups and SMEs are using different AI tools and methods.
Roni Bulent Ozel, co-founder and CEO of Lucidminds, says, “Exposure to people with different levels of understanding how to work with AI is an enriching experience that should be repeated.”
As a workshop leader, Bulent Ozel finds it necessary to reflect on the experiential aspect of those working with AI.
“It was a practical and use case based approach to the attendants to show how they could potentially use AI in their daily work,” Marius Wellenstein, CEO of WSK Medical says, seconding Bulent Ozel’s comments.
Ascension of generative AI
The fact that ChatGPT, Lensa, DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and others are only the first crop of generative AI applications, makes the technology even more promising.
With 100 million people using OpenAI’s ChatGPT and many having changed their profile picture to one created using Lensa on social media, the ascension of generative AI is here.
Microsoft’s $10B investment in OpenAI in January and Google’s $300M in generative AI startup Anthropic in February shows that the field is only going to become competitive.
With its knowledge-first approach and focus on building on the idea and impact, the GPTx event could become an outlier.
It could become the place where startups don’t only use generative AI to build their business case but also to create a positive impact.
“I have learned a lot, and I will definitely apply this in my work,” one attendee told Su Yin after the event.
If the next iterations of the GPTx event sticks to this mantra of imparting knowledge then generative AI will be a boon and not a bane.